Saturday, 7 March 2015

The Trossachs Way

Do you spend your time looking at maps and dreaming up new walking adventures? I do. And it was while looking at OS Landranger 57, Stirling and the Trossachs, that I wondered if it would be possible to link a number of lochs in the Trossachs together in a circular walk whilst avoiding main roads. And you know what? It is.

Route map (alternative route as dotted line):

Start in Aberfoyle, and there are any number of routes through the Queen Margaret Forest towards Loch Venachar - cycle tracks around Loch Drunkie, or the Rob Roy Way for example - that lead towards a quiet backroad into Callendar.

Loch Katrine:

From Callendar, the busy A84 can be bypassed completely via the track of an old railway on the opposite side of Loch Lubnaig, passing the scenic rapids of the Falls of Leny, before picking up another very quiet backroad between Strathyre and Balquidder, where Rob Roy's grave can be visited.

Loch Lubnaig © Copyright Liz 'n' Jim:

Thr route from Balquidder to Stronachlachar is the longest and most exposed stretch, and would require hillwalking experience. However if one stuck to the scenic public road on the north side of Loch Voil, rather than the forest track on the south side, it would be possible to break the day at Monachyle Hotel.

Loch Voil:

From Stronachlachar on Loch Katrine you follow the lochside road east until striking up the hillside along an unusual series of towers - vents for a tunnel - towards to Loch Chon. Forest roads lead you past the south banks of Loch Chon and Loch Ard - with another optional stop at Kinlochard - and finally back to Aberfoyle.

Loch Ard:

(An alternative, on reaching Loch Katrine, would be to walk down the private road towards the heart of the Trossachs, then take the forest tracks on the south side of Lochs Achray and Vennachar back to Callendar.)

Loch Achray:

The whole walk would be about 80km and take 3 days. It is all very do-able. Of all my fantasy walks, this might be the one I am most likely to do in the near future.

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